I was browsing random issues of Creative Computing this on June 7, 2018 when I came across a game that I had never heard of before today: Bally Artillery by John W. Rhodes. This game isn't to be confused with Artillery Duel by John Perkins. Both have the same idea, but they are completely different programs.
Even though this game was published in August 1982, the author seems to imply in his write-up that it was written in late 1978 or early 1979, shortly after he got his Bally Arcade. Lance Squire typed this game into BASIC in order to archive it.
The video is split into four main parts:
0:00 - Narration and overview of Bally Artillery 0:51 - Bally Artillery (Gameplay) 6:59 - Bally Artillery (BASIC Listing) 8:24 - End Credits
Here are the author's notes from the Bally Artillery article:
"In December of 1978 I was ready to buy my first computer system, but my requirements were not easy to meet. I wanted something that could handle arcade-quality games, had high- resolution graphics capability, color display, and Basic in PROM.
"I was not satisfied with anything my local dealers had to show (no one I visited had a Compucolor. the Apple dealers were showing low-resolution only, and the Atari was only a rumor), but on the basis of the (somewhat premature) advertising for the keyboard/expansion unit. I decided to buy a Bally Professional Arcade. I could use Tiny Basic for a while, and turn it into a "real" machine in just a few short months.
"It was just a few short months later that the local dealers began to show Compucolors and high-resolution Apples, and it seemed that the Bally expansion unit was more of a rumor than the Atari 800. I would visit the showrooms, see those beautiful full-size keyboards, watch people work in "real" Basic and be as green as the color monitors.
"I particularly liked the artillery game that Compucolor called 'Shoot...' This game generates a random terrain display and wind factor and positions two artillery emplacements on the screen so that two opponents can take turns trying to obliterate each other. Eventually I resolved that I either had to buy a Compucolor or program this game on my Bally. I chose the latter.
"This turned out to be quite a challenge with less than 2K of memory and integer-only Tiny Basic. But the Bally Basic is quite sound for game programming and easy to work with. The greatest difficulty was finding an integer sine routine, but after searching the magazines I found a routine to adapt to my purpose. I started out using a full ballistic equation, but soon found by experimentation that I could use an approximation. This eliminated an integer square-root routine and added speed in the bargain.
"I spent approximately two months writing, debugging, and fine-tuning the program, but it was worth the effort.
"A few months later I did buy the Compucolor and have been using it ever since. I'm well satisfied with it and use it for a variety of tasks. But my wife and I still enjoy the Bally for its games, especially the artillery game."
The article also includes notes and an explanation of how the program works.
I'm not sure how I overlooked Bally Artillery, as it appeared in a major publication. I guess that it remained under the radar all of this time, that is, until now. Thanks to Lance for typing this program in so that we can play the game.